Top 5 Best Tailgate Grills 2023:
- Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill
- Green Mountain Grill 2019 Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
- Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill
- Masterbuilt SH19030819 Smoke Hollow PT300B Propane Grill
- Weber 51040001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill
Nothing beats good old tailgating and spending time with family and friends before a big game, being excited about it, and grilling delicious food!
Tailgating is a great way to enjoy the time before a big sporting event, but you can’t do it without one tool – a tailgate grill! Tailgate grills are very useful because they are portable, lightweight, easy to carry around, and can fit in your car, and best of all, they help you prepare the most delicious barbecue, chicken, burgers, and hot dogs!
A tailgate grill is a great item to own because you can also use it for camping, picnics, or even parties in your backyard. If you’re thinking about getting one for yourself, there are some things you should know and consider before you make a choice. And to help you with all this, we’ve made this list of the best tailgate grills available! So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
5 Best Tailgate Grills In 2023: Detailed Reviews
1. Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill – Best Overall
Undoubtedly the best choice when it comes to tailgate grills is Coleman RoadTrip Grill. This model has a compact design, foldable legs, and rugged wheels, which makes it the ultimate grill for tailgating and camping. It can fit in your car without taking up a lot of space, and you can move it around easily and quickly.
Coleman RoadTrip grill features three independent burners which can give off 20000 BTUs when operating at its full power! This makes it one of the most powerful portable grills. With this amount of heat, you can cook anything, from hot dogs and burgers to ribs, hot wings, and steaks.
This grill also has a cast-iron grill grate with a large 285 square inches cooking area. The cooking surface is also non-stick and it heats up evenly. There are three knobs that help you control the temperature, each one for an independently adjustable zone, so you can always adjust the temperature according to your needs.
The design of the grill is very compact and convenient, and it’s very easy to set it up and use it. It can be used with or without the foldable stand. The stand has four legs that spread out to give stable support and a wide leveler. It also has detachable side tables that you can use to put anything you need to help you with the grilling.
- Ultimate tailgate grill
- Compact design makes it portable
- Large cooking area
- Foldable legs and detachable side tables
- The legs are not extremely stable
2. Green Mountain Grill 2019 Davy Crockett Pellet Grill – Our Premium Pick
When it comes to innovation and technology as far as grills go, Green Mountain Davy Crocket Grill is the absolute winner. This grill is the ultimate portable grill perfect for tailgating, camping, picnics, and other outdoor events.
Davy Crocket grill runs on wood pellets. This type of fuel is becoming more and more popular because it burns very clearly and it makes controlling the temperature very easy. This model makes it extremely easy. It features an electronic feeder system that automatically feeds the pellets into the stove to maintain the temperature.
Controlling the temperature is even easier with the electronic thermostat which helps you to set, achieve and maintain the desired temperature. This system makes the whole grilling process easier and less time-consuming, so you can focus on spending time with your family and friends instead of being stuck to the grill!
One very unique feature of this grill is that it has WiFi. You’ve read correctly – a WiFi tailgate grill! You can use WiFi to set the temperature on an app on your smart device! This feature is not entirely necessary, but it can add fun to the whole experience.
This grill requires electricity in order to work properly and show off all of its functionalities, which can be a downside sometimes, simply because it’s not as convenient as other grills.
- Controlling the temperature is extremely easy
- WiFi-enabled grill
- Electric thermostat
- Uses wood pellets
- The biggest downside is the price
3. Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill – Best Budget-Friendly Choice
At this price range, you won’t find a better choice than Weber Smokey Joe Portable Grill. This tailgate grill may look extremely small and simple, but it’s actually a highly functional grill that can grill a rack full of steaks or an entire chicken!
The design of the grill is very stylish and innovative. The porcelain-coated enamel lid is very durable and it won’t show signs of wear, chipping, or rust even after being exposed to rain, wind, or sunshine for a long time.
One minor disadvantage of this grill that some users complained about is that sometimes the grill doesn’t get hot enough because of the distance of the grate from the charcoal bed. However, this problem can easily be solved by controlling the airflow. You just have to open the ventilation lid all the way or lift the grate to increase air passage. Considering all the benefits, this minor flaw can be easily overlooked!
One of the benefits of the grill is that it reduces the wastage of coal because the ventilation lid actually provides optimum use of it. Another great thing about the Weber Smokey Joe grill is that it can serve as a great backup in times of power cuts or storms since it’s fueled by coal and it’s so lightweight and portable, it can be used as a tabletop grill.
- Extremely budget-friendly
- Portable and compact
- Optimizes the usage of coal
- Can be used as a tabletop grill
- There are no handles that could help with transport
4. Masterbuilt SH19030819 Smoke Hollow PT300B Propane Grill – Compact Tabletop Design
Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow Grill is a tabletop grill great for tailgating thanks to its small size and compact design. Although it’s lightweight and portable, it’s also very powerful with a maximum BTU output of 10,000, which is quite impressive for a small-sized grill.
With a portable tabletop grill, probably the most important feature is its legs. They have to be well-designed and easy to fold up when the grill is not in use. Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow grill’s legs are super easy to fold up and down, which adds to its convenience.
This is an ideal portable grill for tailgating, camping, and picnics. It has a stainless steel firebox that can take on all your grilling needs! The foldable legs, the locking lid, and the large front carry handle make it even easier to carry and transport this grill.
You can make your favorite meals in the large 305 square inches cooking area. There is also a very useful built-in temperature gauge that helps you keep an eye on the temperature at all times. This grill operates on small, disposable 1lb propane cylinders, which are not included, but you can easily find them as they are a common camping accessory. The chrome-plated top rack is also very handy since it can be used to keep your food warm.
- High BTU output
- Compact, lightweight, and portable
- Foldable legs for easy storing and transport
- Built-in temperature gauge
- Price is affordable
- The temperature can sometimes be tricky to control
5. Weber 51040001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill – Innovative Design
This is another amazing grill by the brand Webber. It’s a portable grill with an innovative and compact design and incredible functionalities. This attractive model comes in six colors, and you can choose between black, blue, green, red, orange, and titanium!
Webber Q1200 grill has a cast aluminum body and lid, a sturdy nylon frame, a porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grate, and a total cooking area of 189 square inches. The cook box contains the components of the cooking system, including cooking grates, burner tubes, and the grease management system.
The advantage of the cast aluminum cook box, or body, is that it’s durable, efficient, requires minimal care, and it can withstand extremely high temperatures. The shape of the body is another advantage of this grill because it provides proper circulation of heat at all times.
The burner tubes on this grill are made of a single piece of stainless steel with no weld, which makes them stronger and even more resistant to rust and burn-through. There is also a built-in thermometer and the burner valve has infinite control settings, so you can adjust the heat levels precisely as you wish. The grill runs on liquid propane from disposable containers but you can also use an adapter hose to connect it to a large tank of propane.
The cooking grate is dishwasher safe, and you can clean the rest of the grill with warm water!
- Compact, lightweight and portable
- Cast aluminum body
- 189 square inches cooking area
- Dishwasher safe
- The handles can take up a lot of space
Things To Consider Before You Buy A Tailgate Grill
If you’re wondering what makes a good tailgate grill, this guide will help you to make a smart decision. Tailgate grills can be expensive, so it’s important to think about some things before you choose the one you want to buy!
Tailgate grills are divided into three types depending on the fuel they require, so we have propane, charcoal, and wood pellet.
- Propane is the most common type of fuel for all grills, including tailgate grills. It’s good for heat regulation and it’s easy to control. It also burns very clearly.
- Charcoal is my second favorite when it comes to tailgate grills. It’s more of a traditional fuel that gives food a delicious, smoky flavor. Charcoal grills are very easy to use.
- Last but not least, tailgate grills are fueled by wood pellets. Wood pellets are a relatively modern type of fuel and they burn very clearly, so they’re ideal for tailgating. Some grills that use wood pellets have an automatic feeding system that loads the pellets into the grill to maintain temperature.
All three types have their ups and downs, and we’ve included the best representative for each type, so you can choose the one that’s best for you!
It’s important to consider the size of the tailgate grill, especially when it’s folded. Since you’re probably going to transport it in your car, make sure it can fit in your trunk without taking up too much space.
There are great tailgate grill models that have foldable legs so they don’t require a lot of space. Even tabletop grills are a good idea for tailgating since they are very compact and lightweight, but can still take on a heavy load!
3. Cooking Area
The cooking area of the grill is measured in square inches. The larger the area, the more food it can fit, so it all depends on your needs. If you want to grill more food at once, there are some grills that have a cooking surface of 250 square inches up to 300 square inches.
On the other hand, if you don’t plan on grilling a lot of food at once, you can go with a smaller grill with a cooking area of 160-200 square inches!
Final Thoughts And Recommendations
Tailgate grills can be quite expensive but think of that money as an investment in a durable product. A good tailgate grill will last you a long time, and you’ll be able to enjoy delicious food for ages before you have to replace it with a new one.
In our list, we’ve included only the best tailgate grills for you, and now we’d love to tell you about our top recommendations:
Best Overall: Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill
- You will not find a better tailgate grill at a reasonable price than this Coleman RoadTrip Grill. It’s a portable grill that has foldable legs and wheels, so transporting it is extremely easy. It’s also very powerful and has a large cooking area to fit all your delicious grilled food!
Premium Pick: Green Mountain Grill 2019 Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
- Green Mountain Davy Crocket grill is an absolute winner when it comes to innovative design and amazing functionalities. It’s fueled by wood pellets and you can control the temperature with an electric thermostat or via the app on your phone because this grill has WiFi!
Best Affordable Option: Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill
- Webber Smokey Joe grill is a charcoal grill with a stylish and compact design. It’s a tabletop grill that’s easily portable and even easier to use. You can carry it with you anywhere and prepare grilled food with a delicious, smoky flavor! And, it’s very budget-friendly!